Derby County defender Richard Keogh has admitted that he and his teammates are wary of Jack Grealish and how he could be the difference between the two sides in their Championship play-off final.
They will come together on Monday to battle it out for the third and final spot in the Premier League next season. Sheffield United and Norwich City have already confirmed their places after achieving automatic promotion.
While speaking to Rams TV, cited by the Birmingham Mail, Keogh was quick to mention Villa’s star player Grealish who has bagged six goals and eight assists in all competitions this season. He said:
With Jack Grealish coming back, he is a real talisman for them and him coming back has given the team real confidence and then going on the run that they did.
They have got Premier League players and it is going to be a tough game, but it doesn’t matter what has gone on in the season now.
It is about preparing for this one game and giving everything. We have had great preparations and we are just looking forward to it.
The 23-year-old scored a wonderful volley against the Rams earlier in the season.
Villa have turned over their play-off final rivals 4-0 and 3-0 in the regular season. However, Keogh also claims that these results won’t matter when it comes to the big day at Wembley on Monday evening. He said:
It is a one-off game now, knock out football is different.
Villa are a great team; they have got a very good manager who has gone in there and done a great job with them.
Key battles between Villa and Derby
Abraham v Keogh
Tammy Abraham will be looking to get the better of Keogh at Wembley.
McGinn v Mount
John McGinn faces a testing task against the ever-dangerous Derby loanee Mason Mount.
Elmohamady v Lawrence
Ahmed Elmohamady will be hoping to keep Tom Lawrence quiet on the flank at Wembley.
Taylor v Wilson
Neil Taylor on the opposite wing will be keen to limit the influence of Derby’s other loan star Harry Wilson.